STAND. COM. REP. NO. 491

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 814

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-Second State Legislature

Regular Session of 2023

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred S.B. No. 814 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO ELECTRONIC INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ACCESSIBILITY FOR PERSONS WITH LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to require the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, in consultation with the Office of Language Access and a working group composed of stakeholders, to develop and publish, and periodically review and update, electronic information technology multilingual accessibility standards to be implemented by all state entities.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Language Access, Office of Enterprise Technology Services, Hawaii Coalition for Immigrant Rights, The Legal Clinic, Hawaii Workers Center, Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights, Hawaii children's Action Network Speaks!, and five individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Disability and Communication Access Board.

 

Your Committee finds that Hawaii has one of the highest per‑capita rates of limited English proficient individuals in the nation. Uniform standards are needed to ensure compliance with state and federal language access laws across all state agencies so that state entities are proactively addressing multilingual accessibility in communications, information technology development, and the technology procurement processes. Digital delivery systems provide critical information and services to the public. Further, your Committee finds that providing persons who have limited English proficiency with government digital information could encourage their participation in government services, programs, and activities. This measure would establish electronic information technology, multilingual accessibility standards, provide a critical link to communication, and make government services accessible for all individuals regardless of their language proficiency.

 

Your Committee has heard the testimony of the Office of Enterprise Technology Services expressing concerns that the standards to be adopted by this measure may have a chilling effect on procurement modernization as the cost and rigors of compliance increase, and that some of the specified enumerations, such as copiers, printers, desktops, and portable computers, are devices themselves, and not language components. Your Committee notes that the testimony recommends amending the definition of "electronic information technology" to exclude systems that are coded in the English language.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Amending the definition of "electronic information technology";

 

(2) Appropriating $100,000 for the establishment of one full-time Program Manager position;

 

(3) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2112, to encourage further discussion; and

 

(4) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Government Operations that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 814, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 814, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Operations,

 

 

 

________________________________

ANGUS L.K. MCKELVEY, Chair